“Planète Magique” is a deserted fairground, an abandoned amusement park, located in the heart of Paris. Before this Ali Baba’s cave becomes the new haunt of electronic arts, Heidi Wood has made a series of photographs… of her paintings. The ultra kitsch decorations and the still-intact magic roundabouts of “Planète Magique” are an ideal backdrop for adventurous paintings. For Heidi Wood does not like to leave her paintings at rest. She moves them into incongruous places where they nonetheless have every chance of fitting in: their round, sharp and colored geometry owes as much to the vocabulary of artistic formalism as to design or fashion. In short, these forms are too saturated with different sources to not appear original. They are both ho-hum and special, mysteriously timeless and fabulously fashionable. In being thrust into this very eighties atmosphere, the question is whether the paintings will be absorbed by the decor, or whether they will hold their own and manage to defend their autonomy at any cost. Heidi Wood does not tip the balance either way. On the contrary, she does everything to maintain ambiguity. In framing the shots and fine-tuning her paintings to the esthetic of the site, the artist remodels both her paintings and the environment. Thanks to this mise en scène, she creates the conditions for a strange combination of both. Ironically, as in a shop front window, what Heidi Wood is selling us is not the object or the artwork: it’s the ambiance.


Judicaël Lavrador

March 2003

Heidi Wood à la Planète magique catalogue

Translated from French

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